Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, is not falling for suggestions Birmingham City have been weakened by a series of issues stemming from their breach of Profit and Sustainability regulations.
Tonmorrow's visitors to Bramall Lane are facing an English Football League punishment after incurring losses of more than of £39m over a three year period and breaking a 'soft' transfer embargo earlier this summer.
But Wilder, pointing to the experience within Garry Monk's squad, insisted City's off-the-pitch problems make "absolutely no difference" to their performances on it.
"Listen, the players still get paid," he said. "Hotel rooms on a Friday and Tuesday night still get paid. There is still food being paid for at their training ground I'm sure.
"I think too much is made of it to be honest. There's been no points deduction.
"Garry doesn't use it as an excuse and he always maintains they've got to get their heads down and get on with it. Let's not lose sight of the fact they’ve still got some real quality there."
Wilder and his staff watched City draw with West Bromwich Albion on Friday before travelling to United's game against Bristol City. Despite being beaten in the south-west, they remained in a play-off position ahead of last night's games.
"We went to watch them and, listen, we're not talking about kids here," Wilder, assessing Monks' options, continued. "This isn't a group of lads who have been thrown together at the last minute, we're talking about serious players here who they (City) have invested seriously in.
"They've got Harlee Dean, Jota, Lukas Jutkiewicz. Someone like Marc Roberts didn't get a game that night which tells you something. So we know we have to be right up for this. These are good players, good experienced players."